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Sony taps former DreamWorks Animation executive to head animation division

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has tapped a veteran DreamWorks Animation executive to run the studio’s animation unit.

On Thursday, Sony named Michelle Raimo-Kouyate president of production for Sony Pictures Animation. She succeeds Hannah Minghella, who was recently appointed head of production for Columbia Pictures as part of an executive shakeup at the studio.

Like Minghella, Raimo-Kouyate is a former executive at Miramax Films, where she oversaw the development of such films as ‘Chocolat’ and ‘The Shipping News.’ Most recently she worked as an executive producer for the upcoming DreamWorks Animation feature ‘Puss in Boots,’ a spin-off of the Shrek franchise.

‘Michelle is an extraordinarily talented executive who loves both the art and the artistry of animation and understands that superior storytelling must always come first,’ said Bob Osher, president of digital productions for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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Raimo-Kouyate’s appointment at Sony Pictures Animation is the latest sign of turnover since the division was launched eight years ago. Although it scored a modest hit with last year’s ‘Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs,’ Sony Animation has struggled to find its footing in the crowded computer animation market.

The division is working with Britain-based Aardman Animations on two films, family comedy ‘Arthur Christmas’ and the stop-motion high seas adventure ‘Pirates!’

-- Richard Verrier


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